Tigers claw Bulldogs
By MIKE ZEMELKA
A relic stands as a tribute to the dedication and determination of a group of young men in whom Coach Bob Commings has placed faith since the spring of 1969.
Of course, the relic is the “Victory Bell” – a treasured locomotive bell which goes to the winner of the Massillon-Canton McKinley football game.
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COMMINGS HAS insisted this year’s edition of the Tigers – his second – are “quality kids”.
They proved beyond a doubt last Saturday before 22,500 rain soaked football buffs at Tiger stadium they are deserving of Ohio’s No. 1 ranking in the wire services’ Class AAA poll.
It is just a matter of hours before they learn if Saturday’s efforts were enough to maintain the top ranking.
Saturday’s 28-0 conquest of the Bulldogs climaxed a comeback which Commings began here in 1969 with a 7-2-1 club – a team from which many of this year’s Tigers remembered the heart-breaking 14-7 loss to McKinley.
Perfect is perhaps the best adjective to describe the Tigers’ play Saturday – and all season long as the ’70 Washington high gridders provided Massillon football buffs with their 16th unbeaten and untied team – the first since 1965. McKinley ended 8-1-1.
It was almost unbelievable of the Orange and Black’s ability to execute to perfection in the mud and bone-chilling rain Saturday.
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RIB-ROCKING defensive play resulted in the recovery of two Bulldog bobbles and the theft of a McKinley aerial.
Massillon’s defensive unit allowed the Cantonians but a single stick-mover in the first half and just nine for the game.
Because of the efforts of the defensive unit – better known as the “Attack Pack” – McKinley was forced to the air 14 times. On the other hand, Massillon passed just twice.
Massillon gained 258 yards rushing. Tailback Mike Mauger climaxed a brilliant s
eason – his last – with 137 yards in 27 tries. He scored on a pair of four-yard runs and added a bonus run.
Senior Denny Franklin, the all-around quarterback, romped 37 yards for the Tigers’ third six-pointer with the help of a perfect fake by Mauger and a key block by backup tight end Mike McGuire, a junior.
Mauger drove into the line over left tackle. The Pups bought the fake and Franklin sailed around left end as McGuire had cut down the last Bulldog who had the only chance to stop the elusive signal-caller.
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MASSILLON GOT the game’s first break when Larry Harper, the senior wingback established a Massillon-McKinley game record with a 94-yard return of the opening kickoff. Mark McDew set the old standard when he raced 91 yards with the second half kickoff to help the Tigers to a 20-15 win in 1967 – the last time Massillon beat the Bulldogs until Saturday.
Willie Spencer, also playing his last game as a Tiger, climaxed the defense’s outstanding play when he picked off a Jimmy Vance pass and raced 42 yards to the four. His theft set up Mauger’s second TD with 0:18 left.
Mauger now ranks as the third best all-time Massillon scorer, surpassing the 1937 output of 137 points by halfback-fullback Bob Glass.
Saturday’s two six-pointers and the conversion run after Harper’s TD give Mauger 152 points
for the season. His 23 TDs for 1970 ranks second on the all-time Tigers’ list behind Edwin (Dutch) Hill, who tallied 34 TDs in 1922. He now rates as the top scorer of the “Modern Tiger era” – three points better than the 1934 total posted by Heine Krier.
Execution by the line freed Mauger, Franklin, Harper and fullback Cardinal consistently.
Once, however, the Bulldogs did dig in and prohibit the Tigers from scoring. This happened after WHS owned a 16-0 lead.
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MASSILLON HAD moved 66 yards and tried twice to punch the leather over from inside the one. The second attempt was a crack at right tackle by Mauger. He was stopped 0:40 before the bands took the field.
Junior middle guard Larry McLenndon looked like a fifth back in the Bulldogs’ lineup as he continuously was applying pressure.
He forced junior fullback Artis Zachary to fumble once and Cardinal fell on the leather at the Tigers’ 20 to set up the first WHS sustained drive, which extended into the second stanza.
Mauger ended the maneuver when he slashed over right tackle with 9:31 showing.
Key plays in the drive were a 10-yard counter over left tackle by Harper on a third and eight call, a 13-yard pass over the middle to end Steve Luke to the McKinley 36 on a third and 15 try and an 11-yard burst up the middle by Mauger on fourth and two to the visitors’ 25.
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CARDINAL’S recovery of Zachary’s fumble halted McKinley’s most serious threat of the game. The threat covered 34 yards and began when Vance intercepted Franklin’s first pass attempt, which had glanced off Harper’s out-stretched hands.
Massillon drove 73 yards in nine plays to make it 22-0. The TD came 9:08 before the bell was tugged through the mud from the McKinley bench. The maneuver began when Vance twice overshot targets in an attempt to pick up 12 yards the Bulldogs needed for a first down.
Mauger carried six times for 26 yards and Harper aided with a nine-yard dart around left end. Franklin accounted for the remainder, with the TD coming on his fancy footwork. The call came on a fourth and two situation. Franklin hit Spencer for the PATs, but the Tigers were penalized for illegal procedure. Harper was stopped at the three when he tried to run it in from the eight.
McKINLEY 0 0 0 0 0
MASSILLON 8 8 0 12 28
M – Harper, 94 return of opening kickoff (Mauger run); Mauger, 4 run (Harper run); Franklin, 37 run (run failed after penalty nullified pass to Harper); Mauger, 4 run (pass failed).
Ends – Steve Luke, McGuire, Spencer, Stephan, Clary, Perry.
Tackles – Ridgley, Strobel, Weirch.
Guards – Jaskinski, Jellel, Sims, Graber, Groff, John Nussbaumer.
Centers – Studer, Gaddis.
Quarterback – Franklin.
Running backs – Mauger, Cardinal, Harper.
Defensive Backs – Pattinson, Bill Luke, Thompson, Hank Nussbaumer, Wonsick, Fletcher, Sullivan.
Middle Guard – McLenndon.
Ends – Turner, Stover.
Tackles – Randle, DeStefano, O’Brovac.
Guards – Gordon, Williams, Cook.
Centers – Clark, Hoon, Fields.
Quarterback – Vance.
Running Backs – Zachary, DeGraffenreid, Cleveland, R. Umbles, Hall, Barnett, Lewis, Kelley.
Middle Guard – Carbone.
ATTENDANCE – 22, 500
First downs, rushing 16 6
First downs, passing 0 1
First downs, penalties 1 2
Total first downs 17 9
Yards gained rushing 270 91
Yards lost rushing 12 16
Net gain rushing 258 75
Net gain passing 13 40
Total yards 271 115
Passes attempted 2 14
Passes completed 1 5
Passes intercepted by 1 1
Yardage on passes intercepted 42 5
Times kicked off 5 1
Kickoff average, yards 40.0 54.0
Kickoff returns, yards 94 40
Times punted 1 3
Punt average, yards 34.0 33.3
Punt returns, yards 6 0
Had punts blocked 0 0
Fumbles 0 2
Lost fumbled ball 0 2
Penalties 10 2
Yards penalized 96 20
Touchdowns rushing 3 0
Touchdowns passing 0 0
Touchdowns by interception 0 0
Miscellaneous 1 0
Total plays 56
Referee – Ted Humphrey.
Field Judge – Hugh Davis.
Head Linesman – Stanley Evaans.
Umpire – Robert Brown.
Back Judge – Robert Reidenbach.
TD on Starting Kickoff
Spurs Win Over Pups
By ROBERT S. STEWART
Repository Sports Editor
MASSILLON – The mighty Massillon Tigers took the field in the rain and mud of Tiger Stadium here Saturday and accomplished just what they set out to do – polish off Canton McKinley’s football team and wrap up another state championship.
The Tigers exploded with a spectacular 93-yard run by fleet halfback Larry Harper to get the 75th annual schoolboy classic under way.
Then Massillon methodically ground out a 28-0 victory over the stubborn Bulldogs from McKinley.
Harper’s dash put the Tigers on top with only 14 seconds gone in the game. Not all of the 22,500 fans who watched the game were even in their seats yet. It looked like the rout many had predicted.
Virtually Clinches Title for Tigers
But McKinley and the mud combined to hold the score to a respectable 16-0 margin at the start of the final quarter.
The win virtually clinches the state title for Massillon, its first in five years and 12th since the inception of the Associated Press poll in 1947.
Although the formality of the final voting must be awaited, certainly the Tigers will remain the No. 1 team in the state, a spot they held for all but one week this season.
It will be interesting to see where McKinley finishes. The Bulldogs have trailed Massillon and second-ranked Upper Arlington (27-6 winner over Marietta, Friday) as the third-rated team the last few weeks.
McKinley finished its season with eight wins, a 7-7 tie with Niles and the loss to Massillon.
It was the 16th time Massillon has been undefeated and untied in the school’s history.
The 1970 edition of the Tigers moves into the eighth spot on the all-time list of high scoring Massillon teams with 412 points. Defensively, this year’s team is tied for 12th with 29 points allowed. McKinley was the Tigers’ sixth shutout victim.
First year coach John Brideweser of McKinley was disappointed, but not disheartened. The Bulldogs were not hanging crepe in their dressing room. No one left with his head down.
Brideweser, who had been an assistant at Massillon last year, said he felt his kids did a great job Saturday and all year long.
The McKinley well-wishers praised the team and noted the 8-1-1 record was much better than expected.
Massillon Wraps Up
State Grid Crown
Commings Crew ‘Fanstatic’
By KEN SHERER
Repository Sports Writer
MASSILLON – Clang, clang, Clang-clang, clang-clang.
That old railroad bell still is ringing today in Tigertown after the top-rated Massillon Tigers whitewashed the McKinley Bulldogs 28-0 Saturday afternoon and won back the bell after two years of absence from Washington high School.
Carl “Ducky” Schroeder, Tiger tackle coach who has been at Massillon for more than 20 years, summed it up perfectly amidst the delirious post-game celebration in the locker room.
“WE CAME ALL the way back and then some,” said Schroeder, who has helped coach 12 state championship teams in his Massillon tenure and probably will have another Tuesday when the final Associated Press poll is released.
“The kids were just fantastic,” praised Massillon Coach Bob comings as he stood in his dripping wet clothes, fresh from a victory shower.
“We came back the last two years and we’re gonna dominate the state of Ohio again,” said Commings.
“I think we are here for two reasons,” said Commings. “First, I was fortunate to hire the coaches I did and second the kids deserved it because nobody has outworked us this year.”
“WE HAVE QUALITY kids at Massillon High. That’s what we preached two years ago when we first came here. We told them we had to have quality players and we have them now!”
“I think it’s really good because we won. We’re in northeastern Ohio and that’s where the state championship belongs. It’s a matter of pride for the All-American Conference.”
Tigers Were ‘Fantastic’
“It’s inconceivable to me how any kids could have worked any harder than we did. There was not one dummy on the field all season. We worked on people.”
“The people in this town have been great to me personally, last year too. If anyone deserves the state title they do. The booster club president (Wilbur Arnold, Jr.) even took two vacations to see that everything came off okay.”
“We played 96 minutes (two games, McKinley and Warren) in the mud this year,” continued the former Mahoning County detective, “and we didn’t have one fumble. That’s a tribute to our coaches since we didn’t have any blows in those games.”
McKINLEY played their game and didn’t make any changes. We played our game and didn’t change.”
“We ran the ball well and our defense looked strong despite the condition of the field.”
“Willie Spencer (two-way end) played a heckuva game today. They all did.”
“Justice was done this year,” Commings concluded.
EMOTION RAN through the Tiger locker room after the game. Players were chanting, “We’re No. 1, We’re No. 1,” from their perches atop the lockers and nearly everywhere else. It was like putting three cans of sardines into one can.
The victory bell seldom stopped ringing.
Tiger assistant coach Nick Vrotsos said, “We’ll have a winner! We won’t have to walk in the alleys this year.” The former Tiger cage mentor looked like a proud poppa as he passed out victory cigars to fellow coaches and friends.
Tiger aide Dale Walterhouse said, “We’re claiming the best linebackers in the state. Steve Luke and Tom Cardinal can move and hit. McKinley has been claiming to have the best linebackers in the state. I guess we proved it today.”
“Luke and Cardinal have been leaders on and off the field. They’re hitters on the field and gentlemen off the field,” said Walterhouse about the Tiger co-captains.
McKinley 28-0 Loser
‘Perfect’ Ending For Massillon
By JOHN SEABURN
MASSILLON – The Massillon Tigers gave the Bulldogs of Canton McKinley a good bit more than they bargained for when the teams clashed before 22,500 here in rain-drenched Tiger Stadium Saturday.
When wingback Larry Harper returned the opening kickoff 93 yards to score, the state’s No. 1 ranked Class AAA team was off to a 28-0 victory in the final game of the year for both teams.
Massillon, relying on the charges of tailback Mike Mauger and the fine leadership of quarterback Dennis Franklin and able to move over a slippery turf while the visiting Bulldogs could not.
The Tigers moved to their 10th victory of the season without defeat, wrested the
All-American Conference title from defending champion McKinley, ended the Bulldogs two-year domination of the traditional rivalry and rounded the series off to 40 Massillon wins, 30 triumphs for McKinley (8-1-1) and five ties in the 75th game between the two schools.
Mauger, a 6-1, 200-pound senior, set a school rushing yardage record for its “modern era” (since 1932) by carrying 27 times to gain 137 yards.
He scored twice on runs of four yards, the first time in the second period to help the Tigers to a 16-0 halftime lead and the second time when the Orange and Black seized an opportunity to score in the final 18 seconds of play.